Pau Gasol has been dominant for the Bulls in the early part of the season, posting averages of 18.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots — a better overall statistical performance than we’ve seen from the Spaniard in any of his last three seasons.
The change of scenery has done Gasol plenty of good, after a rough few years in Los Angeles where he was the subject of constant trade rumors while being marginalized by two of the team’s since-fired head coaches.
Even though times had gotten tough, Gasol has said more than once that he agonized over his decision to leave in free agency. While the Lakers couldn’t promise that a new head coach would properly utilize Gasol correctly on the floor, the team did offer to take away the off-court rumors and distractions.
Pau said Lakers offered him a no trade clause during negotiations.
This is notable, because only six players in the entire league possess the right to veto any trade as part of their current contract.
It’s a very short list that only includes Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. The reasons are many that this is the case, but the primary one is that teams require a significant level of flexibility within the confines of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, and wouldn’t be able to improve or switch gears if multiple players had the ability to restrict trades; it would simply be too limiting to a team’s ability to make changes to the roster.
But even being granted this rare exception wasn’t enough to entice Gasol to stay in Los Angeles.